Hello and Here’s to Romance

Hello from the high mountains of Colorado.

After what can’t be called a hiatus - because it was too long - I am back writing for the RMFW blog. Looking forward to it. When Patricia Stoltey asked me to write, I asked her if there was a topic she’d like me to explore. She replied that she’d like more posts on writing romance. Her wish is my command.

When I was a kid, I really didn’t love to read. I was captivated by television - maybe even addicted. That was back in the day before recorders (yes, campers, we did have color TV in those days) and I knew exactly what days and times my heroes would show up on the screen. Woe be unto anyone who interrupted. And, if my mom planned something different for me - EGADS!!! I’d have to wait and catch that episode on reruns.

Looking back, I realize that this obsessive TV watching was feeding the romance writer in me. Feeding my fascination with heroes.

Then, when I was in my late teens, I was introduced to romance - historical romance to be exact.

Kathleen Woodiwiss and Rosemary Rogers.

The Flame and the Flower, The Wolf and the Dove, Sweet Savage Love and Dark Fires.

8131425And I became a reader. I then married a military man and books kept me company in Germany during the long weeks when he was away.

I carried stories in my heart for years, wondering if I could actually write a novel, before finally making the leap. Whether you write romance, or sci-fi, or fantasy, or whatever you write - you know that feeling of taking a deep breath and beginning that first story.

Though some of my tastes in romance have changed, I still love going on the journey. Romance is a journey whose destination is pre-determined. To be classified as a romance there must be a happy ending. The hero and heroine must be together in some sort of committed relationship at the end of the book.

Romance readers demand it.

As an aside - this is why some of us rail at the categorization of Nicolas Sparks as a “romance” writer. Hello. No, Message in a Bottle is NOT a romance novel. It’s a love story. But - spoiler alert - a book in which the hero dies halfway through - not a romance.

Sorry for the digression.

And how committed are the readers of romance? Pretty darn committed.

Romance is the number one selling genre.

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According to Romance Writers of America, 84% of romance book buyers are women. (That’s surprising to me. Yet, I do have male readers of my military romance.) 64% of those readers read romance more than once a month, 35% buy romance more than once a month. And by and large, those readers have been reading romance for 10-20 years.

The top rated sub-genres in romance are:

Print: romantic suspense (53%); contemporary romance (41%); historical romance (34%); erotic romance (33%); New Adult (26%); paranormal romance (19%); Young Adult romance (18%); and Christian romance (17%).

E-book: romantic suspense (48%); contemporary romance (44%); erotic romance (42%); historical romance (33%); paranormal romance (30%); New Adult (26%); Young Adult romance (18%); and Christian romance (14%).

The reason I mentioned these statistics is to show that writing romance is not a whim. It very well might be a great business decision if you love the genre. Also I wanted to point out the wide variety of stories you can tell within the category.

Why do I write romance?

Because I believe in love. Love that overcomes obstacles. Love that, after all is said and done, wins the day. Love that binds two imperfect people together to face the world together.

I’ll be back next month and we’ll get into some of the requirements of the genre.

Until then, campers, BIC-HOK - Butt in Chair, Hands on Keyboard.

Jax

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Jax Hunter is known for her heartwarming 5-book military romance series: True Heroes. She is currently writing American Revolutionary War novel. Recently, she has ventured out to write journals: climbing trackers, motivational journals and bible study journals. She teaches a wide variety of writing courses, both online and in person and travels the state telling the stories of April 19, 1775. She also is the owner of a health and wellness business.

Whew. What does she do for fun? Well, she’s a huge hockey fan. She has a fancy embroidery machine and she’ll embroider anything that will fit in the hoop. And she collects really old books.

She lives in the high mountains of Colorado with own true hero and the two pups that rule the house.

14 thoughts on “Hello and Here’s to Romance

  1. Great blog, Jax. Cheers from a fellow romance writer (and reader)! I’m pleased to know we’ll see more blogs about this genre that I like to call “the vast and wondrous playground.”

  2. Hi, Jax! I enjoyed your post. With me, you’re singing to the choir, but we’re in perfect harmony. I’ll look forward to your next post. Hugs!

  3. Ah! I love romance. I grew up on Mary Stewart and Barbara Cartland. The SF/R of Susan Grant and Catharine Asaro and Linnea Sinclair keeps me turning the pages still. I have five titles from various indies in my TBR pile at the moment and I keep picking them up faster than I can read them.

  4. So glad to see you back, Jax! I’ve long known we share a brain on many topics. My dirty little secret is I only ever read one romance (only one on my own – I’ve read them for colleagues, but that doesn’t count in this context.) I don’t know the author, but it was a teen romance called New Boy. The secret is I couldn’t put it down. It had a lot of the elements I love in other books, including a heroic protagonist. Hell, I still maintain that one of the most romantic scenes in literature is when Tom Sawyer takes the ruler across the knuckles in Becky Thatcher’s stead.

    Anyway, no argument here on your post, above. Keep writing those romances!

  5. Great post, Jax! I’m so happy you’ve joined our outstanding list of regular contributors and look forward to reading more about a genre I don’t know too much about. I read mostly the gothic romances many years ago before I got solidly hooked on mysteries and thrillers. I do need to read more contemporary or historical romance, especially those novels written by our amazing RMFW members.

  6. I don’t know a lot about writing romance, but after seeing what some of the romance writers make, I think I should learn, haha.

    But in all seriousness, you wrote something in this article that was just awesome: “Romance readers demand it.” Every genre has its tropes, sometimes they are frowned upon and sometimes they are cherished. It seems in romance, the readers embrace the tropes and formulas and look for a familiar place for the stories to take them. The fact that romance writers are able to take them there with every book speaks volumes for their talent.

    • Exactly right Jason. All genres have tropes. And if you’re going to write in that genre, you pretty much need to know what they are. I’ll talk about that in the next post. Thanks for reading.

  7. Kathleen Woodiwiss was my “intro” to romance as well. I was shocked when an agent told me 20 years ago that I needed to find a more current author to mention when I talked about why I wrote romance and whose readers would like me. Glad to have you as a blogger for RMFW.

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